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Wild Rose - Dangerous

posted 11 Feb 2013, 08:50 by Paul Woodward
(AOR Heaven)

Review By Woody

Given Wild Rose’s ability to write and perform strong American style soft rock anthems, it’s surprising to tell people that Wild Rose are actually Greek! They first came to my attention last year when I finally discovered their debut album Half Past Midnight but since then they have recruited a new singer in David A Saylor, who joins principal songwriter Guitarist Andy Rock and his equally curiously named Greek band mates Dirty Haris (Keyboards), Phil Gun (Bass), Tiny Karpo (Guitars) and Junior (Drums).

Prior to listening to Dangerous I was unsure about Saylor been the new Wild Rose front man, as he is a very different vocalist to the bands previous front man George Bitzios. Saylor has a far smoother vocal style which you would associate with west coast AOR, Bitzios on the other hand has a rawer edge to his vocal and whilst Saylor is a vastly superior singer, Bitzios fitted the Wild Rose sound perfectly.

I have to admit before I’d listened to half the album I’d already realised Saylor joining the band has taken the band up a notch and definitely makes them serious players within the genre. Although I do miss some of the edge and rawness of their previous album the superior production and smoother feel of Dangerous does see the band progressing positively. I do feel there are less instant songs this time but overall song quality and musicianship is definitely a step up for them!

The only thing that really stops this album getting a perfect score from me is that a few of the choruses let the side down, there's not a bad song here but some songs left me deflated come the chorus. Don’t let that put you off though as this traditional melodic rock album has so much to offer and some tracks are sheer joy and will without a doubt be songs I play to death for years to come!

The quality of the album is down to principal songwriter Andy Rock, who has hit the nail on the head when writing songs in this style, fair enough the band has a traditional melodic rock sound steeped in the genre’s eighties heyday but he does it SO well! He has a knack of writing unforgettable guitar riffs and licks that really hit the spot and will have you rewinding tracks to hear it again. One thing I like about his style is he can use quite basic rhythm guitars and simple riffs to create hooks that capture your attention as well as more impressive technical stuff. He knows how to write a great Keyboard hook too and has a real talent for combining keyboard and guitar riffs to maximum effect, check out the opening of ‘If You Still Love Me’ for a prime example!

Rocker ‘Alone’ has a driving rhythm with a killer guitar riff and keyboard flurries. This song could have been lifted straight from and ‘80’s action movie soundtrack. ‘Hold On’ has a big AOR chorus with straight out of 80’s keyboard which emphasises the melody. Another song with Rock’s demanding rhythm style. The Keyboards in the mid section are sheer joy. ‘I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You’ has an infectious keyboard riff that hits you from the off and has a great vocal performance from Saylor. This was the first song on the first spin that made me really appreciate how much Saylor had brought to the band. It’s a hook filled radio friendly track with a sing along chorus.

Warning ‘If You Still Love Me’ will get stuck in your head! The hook filled guitar and keyboard combination is spot on and the huge memorable chorus with its delicious melody made the song an instant hit with me. The song is also one of Saylor’s standout vocal performances on the entire album; the keyboards on this track are to die for. Traditional melodic rock track ‘Dream On’ has big keyboards, driving guitars and the obligatory massive chorus. ‘Awake’ is a keyboard driven ballad which features some memorable keys – a great atmospheric piece.

‘Tonight’ features great tinkling keyboards and fantastic guitar licks. It’s a great rousing sing along mid-tempo ballad. Keep an ear out for the awesome guitar riff on the chorus. Another track with a driving ‘80’s anthem feel to it is ‘I Won’t Forget You’ which could have been plucked from a movie soundtrack with its cool upbeat vibe.

Melancholic rocker ‘Is This Love’ is full of hooks and cool keyboard flurries. I think this song would be immense live! Radio friendly gold rocker ‘Not A Day Goes By’ closes the album impressively with its huge chorus, heavenly keyboard’s and an excellent vocal performance form Saylor.

Dangerous is a solid traditional melodic rock album, full of killer keyboard flurries, infectious guitar riffs and great rhythms that draw you in. A perfect example of radio friendly Rock!

Track Listing: Alone / Hold On / I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You / If You Still Love Me / Dream On / Awake / Tonight / I Won’t Forget / Is This Love / Not A Day Goes By

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: If You Still Love Me

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